A historic milestone was achieved on Oct. 23 when the Philippine Coconut Authority signed a Memorandum of Agreement with July Development Corp. and Dumaguete Coconut Mills Inc. (DuCoM), a leading coconut products manufacturer.
Reynald Uy, Ducom president and general manager, expressed his gratitude to PCA and to July Development Corp. for their trust and collaboration.
He said the project is aligned with Ducom’s vision of “creating value for all stakeholders”, especially the coconut farmers who are the backbone of the industry.
The agreement aims to develop a 150-hectare coconut plantation-cum-seed farm in the southern town of Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, which will serve as a model for sustainable and climate-smart coconut farming in the country.
The project will showcase Ducom’s sustainability programs, which include a 20-hectare seed farm that will support PCA’s hybridization program to produce high-yielding and disease-resistant coconut varieties.
The remaining 130 hectares will be planted with hybrid coconut trees that will use organic and regenerative farming methods, such as mulching, inter-cropping, and agroforestry.
These practices will enhance soil health, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from conventional agricultural practices.
The project is expected to generate income and employment opportunities for the local farmers and communities, as well as contribute to the national goal of increasing coconut production and productivity.
The project will also showcase the best practices and innovations in coconut farming and processing.
The project is expected to boost the coconut industry in the region, as well as contribute to the national and global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Uy said the project is a testament to Ducom’s commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship, and will pave the way for substantial progress in the company’s impact sustainability programs.
During the signing, PCA Regional Director Brendan Trasmonte lauded the project as a milestone for the coconut sector. He said the project will “inspire more private sector partners to invest in coconut development and innovation”.
July Development Corp., landowner and developer of the project site, also expressed its support for the project.
According to its president, Danford Sy, the project is in line with their mission of promoting sustainable development in the communities. He said they are proud to be part of this initiative that will create “positive social and environmental impacts” in Zamboanguita and beyond.
The signing ceremony was also attended by PCA-Negros Oriental Acting Provincial Coconut Development Manager Marita Somido.
Representing Ducom’s management team, present during the MOA signing included Plant Manager Vincent Ramirez, Commercial Head Joel Brian Tan, Sustainability Head Allan Pierce Virtudazo, HR & Administrative Manager Ray Buenavista, and Warehouse & Terminal Head Mark Martinez.
The MOA signing, held at the Ducom headquarters in barangay San Miguel in the town of Bacong, marked the beginning of a long-term partnership among PCA, July Development Corp., and Ducom to advance the country’s coconut industry, and support its sustainable development goals.
The three parties expressed their commitment to work together to ensure the successful implementation of the project, and to share their learnings and experiences with other stakeholders in the sector.